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Dig or Diss

Dig or Diss | Air Mesh

by , September 25, 2010

Dig or Diss | Air Mesh

This is a diss, we’re def not fans of air mesh. It rubs on your skin real bad, doesn’t actually help back ventilation, and has terrible durability…

While we don’t advise you to ride/walk around topless with your backpack on, when you do and you have air mesh on your pack, you will more then likely end up with some rather sore chaffed spots around your shoulders and back. Even if you are wearing a shirt, air mesh can still create spots of rash or soreness. It’s gnarly how rough the material can feel against your skin.

Then there’s the breathability issue… there is none. Ride too hard or walk too fast and you’re getting the sweats. Mad sweat marks where the bag was, it’s funny to look at on others, but annoying when it’s happening to you.

We haven’t even touched on it clogging with snow in winter, cheapening the look of your pack, or fur-balling and breaking apart with any serious use. And yet the stuff is everywhere. Like those silly ‘headphone ports’, everyone adds them to bags without ever questioning why.

So let’s ditch the air mesh, and find some better alternatives.

  • Edward W. Cook

    Master Diss!
    Not only do they add unnecessary bulk, but I find a bag I thought I was interested in not so enticing once I see the mesh, wackness. It’s like checking out a girl from the back and liking what you see until it seems as though her face was hit with an ugly stick – ha, a bit harsh I know.

    I reckon your next dig or diss should be on bottle holders on the side of backpacks. It’s a tough call, but I give those a diss as well, especially the mesh kind.

    • http://www.carryology.com Lincoln

      haha, interesting analogy Edward.
      good idea about the bottle openers diss/dig, what’s your main diss about them?

  • http://mattgrandin.tumblr.com Matt G.

    Headphone ports should in a Diss or Leave post. The bottle holders on most bags are made of droopy mesh and look limp and scrotal. So for looks I give them a diss, but they do their job very well (the well designed ones at least). You can easily slip a bottle in and out easily with one hand, without taking the pack off, offering easy access external storage.

    • Leather

      Thanks for the input Matt, we will def look at Headphone posts as a digg/diss topic.
      Some good points on the dig/diss on bottle holders as well – they do their job well as an external storage point.

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  • Brian

    Here’s a good work-around for that: wear a shirt. I don’t know of any bags that were designed specifically to be worn topless. This feature is to keep airflow between your back and your bag. Without it, and assuming you live somewhere hot, the bag will get soaked with sweat, and your back will STAY soaked, therefore also causing nasty back. I disagree with your diss.

    • http://www.bellroy.com ando

      Haha, thanks Brian. Good to get dialogue going. OK, let me explain a little further…

      Have you see those loose necklines that are on lots of fashionable TShirts at the moment?
      Or singlets/vests/wife-beaters that lots of crew wear in hot weather?
      Or most summer tops and dresses that girls wear in hot weather?

      All of these expose your lower neck and upper shoulders to the abrasiveness of airmesh straps. And that’s not even counting those that ride to work in hot climates, some of whom like to take off their shirt, ride to work, then cool down and put the shirt on later.

      I guess our goals with great carry gear is to have product that functions great at it’s intended purpose, but is also flexible and allows you to change and go with the flow. Airmesh starts to limit what you can wear under the pack.

      Check out some of the stuff that Boreas have started to use, or the LowePro Flipside approach, the Arc’teryx Spear, or most good mountain packs. They have all of the benefits of airmesh, but gets around the scratchiness. Let’s hope others start to adopt more of that approach.

  • Justin Chase

    If you’re going to dis at least be constructive and provide an alternative. What,s a great back panel?

    • Nawksnai

      Many Deuter backpacks have a better mesh system that actually keeps your back (and the shirt you’re hopefully wearing) away from the pack, allowing air to travel across your back and keep it cool while you ride.

      Same goes for my Osprey Raptor. It’s not as good as the back panel on a Deuter Air backpack, but it’s a better overall backpack.

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  • Ryan

    What about 100% pure wool as a lining? It is relatively breathable, extremely durable, and very comfortable. If it works on horse saddles surely it would work on a backpack

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